Titans vs. Steelers: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More
The Tennessee Titans drew a tough matchup in Week 1 on the road against a veteran-laden Pittsburgh Steelers team that missed the playoffs last year.
After going 12-4 in 2010 and 2011, injuries plagued the Steelers last year, leading to a mediocre 8-8 campaign. The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals are expected to be the top teams in the always tough AFC North, but it would be unwise to count out Pittsburgh in 2013.
This is still a dangerous team, and Tennessee will have a tough time winning at Heinz Field on Sunday.
For the Titans, it's put-up-or-shut-up time for third-year quarterback Jake Locker, who enters the season as the unquestioned starter. An explosive athlete with a rocket for an arm, Locker has struggled with accuracy throughout his college and professional career.
One thing that will certainly help the young signal-caller succeed is the team's improved offensive line, which will also help running back Chris Johnson return to form this year.
Here's what you need to know about this upcoming Week 1 matchup.
When: Sunday, Sept. 8, at 1 p.m. ET
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Betting Lines (via Covers)
- Over/Under: 42 pts.
- Spread: Pittsburgh (-7)
Titans Injury Report (via NFL.com)
|Akeem Ayers||LB||Ankle||Full Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|David Stewart||T||Calf||Did Not Participate In Practice||Questionable|
|Zaviar Gooden||LB||Ankle||Did Not Participate In Practice||Out|
|Quinn Johnson||RB||Quadricep||Did Not Participate In Practice|
Steelers Injury Report (via NFL.com)
|Jarvis Jones||LB||Chest||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Le'Veon Bell||RB||Foot||Did Not Participate In Practice||Out|
|Brett Keisel||DE||Not Injury Related||Limited Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Heath Miller||TE||Knee||Limited Participation in Practice||Doubtful|
|Will Johnson||RB||Hamstring||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
Will Chris Johnson Make Headway Against Pittsburgh's Defense?
Pittsburgh struggled to create turnovers on defense last year without a strong pass-rushing presence and safety Troy Polamalu out with injuries, but the Steelers still featured the league's No. 2-ranked rushing defense.
One of the running backs that did manage to find success against the Steelers in 2012, however, was Chris Johnson, who rushed for 91 yards on 19 carries (4.79 yards per carry) at home in Week 6.
How many rushing yards will CJ2K rack up against the Steelers?
Johnson had a decent campaign last year, rushing for 1,243 yards with six touchdowns.
The Titans made a couple of moves this year to help the running back improve upon those numbers in 2013. Offensive guard Andy Levitre was signed as a free agent, and Alabama product Chance Warmack was drafted No. 10 overall.
The moves appear to have worked in Tennessee's favor. In limited action this preseason, Johnson averaged 7.8 yards per carry and scored on a gorgeous 58-yard run against the Washington Redskins in Week 1.
Pittsburgh's defense is a tough nut to crack, though, and it'll be fun to watch the two opposing forces work against one another on Sunday.
I want to like the Titans this year. I really do.
The fact of the matter, though, is that I just don't trust Locker to consistently make smart decisions with the football, and I expect him to turn the ball over at least once in this game as a result.
Which team will win?
On the other side, Ben Roethlisberger is one of the most underrated players at any position in the league. He'll be without Mike Wallace, who is now with the Miami Dolphins, but rookie Markus Wheaton will surprise some folks this season in his stead.
In the end, I believe Pittsburgh's defense will overwhelm Tennessee's offense, and the home team will win easily.
Steelers win 27-13
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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